Hodgson to Makin

Cablegram 12645 LONDON, 24 December 1945, 3.16 p.m.


1. Last Friday Addison called meeting at Dominions Office of High Commissioners and Dominion Delegates to Preparatory Commission to discuss elections for Security Council and Economic and Social Council at the forthcoming General Assembly. Duncan and I attended for Australia. Noel-Baker, United Kingdom delegate to Preparatory Commission, presented the following list as the United Kingdom suggestion for the Security Council-Canada, Brazil, Netherlands, Poland, Egypt and Colombia, the first three being for the two-year term and the last three for the one-year term. In doing so he left me with a very strong impression that there had been prior consultation between the United Kingdom and Canada although there had certainly been no prior consultation with Australia. Reasons given for preferring Canada were that it was the Senior Dominion and that it had been associated with atom bomb talks. South African High Commissioner [1] interposed and by referring to a South African list indicated that there had apparently also been some previous communication between United Kingdom and South Africa on the subject. South African list was Canada, Australia, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Mexico.

2. During the ensuing discussion United Kingdom re-expressed doubt whether on political grounds it would be possible to obtain election of more than one Dominion at a time to the Security Council and few argued that if two were members at the same time it would be difficult to provide for continuity of Dominion membership at future elections. There was general discussion on whether there was any preference as between the Netherlands and Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia and Mexico and Colombia.

Czechoslovakia, Colombia and the Netherlands were preferred by the United Kingdom.

3. Canada of course found the United Kingdom views acceptable. New Zealand and India were non-committal. South Africa acquiescent.

Duncan and I both made it clear that while we were interested to hear the United Kingdom views and would communicate them to Canberra, we were unable to comment on them until we had consulted with our Government. I drew attention to the importance of representation of Pacific region on Security Council. Noel-Baker replied that the Netherlands would be in a certain measure representing the Pacific.

4. Noel-Baker also presented the following suggestions for Economic and Social Council-the big five, Australia, Belgium, Brazil (or Chile), Canada, Denmark (or Norway), Greece, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru (or Bolivia or Uruguay), Poland (or Czechoslovakia), Turkey (or Iraq), Ukraine. There was little comment on this list.

5. It was agreed that this meeting was to be regarded only as an exchange of views and that another meeting should be held on the afternoon of January 7th.

6. On instructions from Dr. Evatt who took a keen and active interest in the possibilities of Australian election to the Councils when he was in London we had already made discreet soundings among various delegations and have let it be known in friendly quarters that Australia wishes to be regarded as candidate for both bodies. We have been encouraged to expect support from United States, several Latin American States and possibly from Belgium, Yugoslavia and Iran although it must be realised that inevitable drawing up of lists by various groups may eventually affect votes of even our friends and that if it becomes known that the United Kingdom is against our candidature those groups who hope for British support may withdraw their assistance.

So far we have been careful to avoid any bargains or commitments and have worked along lines of inquiring [as to] wishes of various members and indicating to them our own.

7. On our information we would suggest following lists as basis of Australian instructions- Security Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Netherlands, Council Yugoslavia, Iran (or Egypt).

Economic Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Chile, and Social Czechoslovakia, India, Egypt (or Iran), Council Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Peru, a fourth Latin American State and the big five.

Selection of Latin American countries accords with views of this group. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia have already indicated their own wishes to us. Belgium and the Netherlands have an understanding re allocation of places between them. Iran has informed us that Turkey has agreed to Iran’s candidature.

8. I would suggest that the above information be brought under the notice of Dr. Evatt as early as possible as he is known to have received some communication on the subject while in the United States and may have obtained additional information. Appropriate instructions should reach us in London before British meeting on 7th. In meantime during my few days absence in Paris, Hasluck who has been closely in touch with subject throughout will watch position here.


1 G. H. Nicholls.


[AA : A1067, ER46/3/4]